207807 Looking for a Party on the Internet? How community coalitions in Florida access alcohol & drug information at no cost

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 4:48 PM

Linda B. Loy, MS , Substance Abuse Program Office, Florida Department of Children and Families, Tallahassee, FL
Martin J. Downing Jr, PhD Candidate , Environmental Psychology, City University of New York, New York, NY
Hal F. Johnson, MPH , Substance Abuse Program Office, Florida Department of Children & Families, Tallahassee, FL
The Internet plays a significant role in substance abuse and sexual “hook-ups”. It can no longer be considered a secondary source of social networking. Today, online personals are often the first point of contact for partying and meeting sex partners. Free online pubic access wibsites can assist coalitions in recognizing subpopulations within their communities at no cost.

Based on a comprehensive examination of 20 different geographical areas in Florida, this presentation demonstrates how one of these free public access website provides a rich environment to gain insight into localities, hotels, and bars used for high-risk behaviors. Online personal postings (advertisements) were collected from May 2008 through January 2009. Solicitors offered alcohol and marijuana in combination with beach, boating or bar activities, and party fun with the intent to have a casual sexual encounter. The sample ranged in age from 18 to 65+ years. Gender and regional differences were noted. Primary reasons for placing advertisements, as mentioned by the solicitors were psychological (e.g. boredom & loneliness) as well as environmental (e.g. vacationing in hotels; new to the area; & in town on business). This method of data collection can help to inform the conversation between coalitions, substance abuse professionals and preventionists regarding the local profiling of addictive behaviors.

Learning Objectives:
•List information which can be obtained from on line services for any city listed. •Describe how to access online alcohol and drug solicitation using fully public information. •Identify and define population differences in individual local community environments.

Keywords: Alcohol Use, Internet

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: MS Research Psychology, Alcohol & Drug researcher for State of Florida. presentations and posters include:Loy, LB. Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey Data (FYSAS) Updates for statewide alcohol & drug use. (Presentation) Florida Statewide Prevention Conference October 2006 Johnson, HF & Loy, LB. The role of acculturation in Hispanic/Latino adolescent ATOD use. (Presentation) American Public Health Association. Boston, MA, 2006.Johnson, HF, Rothenbach, B, & Loy, LB. Adolescent drug use and symptoms of depression. (Poster presentation). Society for Prevention Research. Washington DC, June, 2007.Johnson, HF & Loy, LB. An argument against using ‘age of first use’ as an evaluation measure: A Florida case study (Oral presentation). American Public Health Association. Washington DC, November, 2007 Johnson, HF, Loy, LB. & Saint-Jean, G. Early onset of alcohol and marijuana use and later adverse outcomes among Florida high school seniors (Oral presentation). Denver CO, June, 2008.Loy, LB & Metzger, RL. Measuring the “Fun” in summer camp: Assessment of an On-Site Museum-Based Day Program for Autistic Children. (Oral presentation) Southeastern Evaluation Association Annual Conference. February 2008
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.